As I have noted before, the financial services industry in the UK has an unfailing knack for digging itself deeper into its own shit.
Not content with foisting endowment mortgages, PPI, excess credit card rates, bank charges and other insults on its hapless customers it now seeks to milk them further by "imaginative" and outrageous profiteering charges on mortgage arrears.
Many thousands of homebuyers, many of whom are unemployed, face profiteering penalty charges on top of their regular monthly mortgage repayments.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) report that the number of mortgages in arrears by three months or more has reached 270,400 (compared with 152,700 at the end of the second quarter of 2008).
Moneysupermarket.com report that Lloyds Group is charging £206 for repayments three months or more in arrears.
GMAC and Abbey charge penalties of £50 and £40, respectively, when the borrower is only one month in arrears.
Halifax charges £35 for every call/letter wrt mortgage arrears, and then has the barefaced cheek to charge £100 for debt advice.
The FSA has a Code of Conduct that requires that lenders treat customers fairly sympathetically.
Evidently the banks haven't read that code, or simply do not care about it.
The Treasury Select Committee is not impressed with either the banks, or the hapless and hopeless FSA. It has attacked the FSA for sitting on its hands.
Britain's financial services industry is rotten to its core.
Until the FSA is expunged from history, and replaced with a more pro active assertive regulatory body, the hapless British consumer can only expect more of the same and continue to be ripped off.
Those who currently are enjoying the fruits of their profiteering should bear in mind the wise adage:
"What goes around, comes around".